#WFH Are You More Productive at Home?
This environment provides some personal privacy and the illusion of much more. Yet to be both productive and creative, you need collaboration. “Telework makes you more productive and working together makes you more creative” (Thompson, 2013). Working across boundaries means more than just physical boundaries. These boundaries include cultures, race, ethnicity, physical location, gender, generations, time zones and maybe even oceans! Our greatest limitations are our thoughts, not where we are. Serendipity online happens in a different way.
It is not the spontaneous water cooler that is important; it is a connection of minds. A great deal of research shows that virtual workers are more productive and get more done. Just like possibilities and limitations, much of what goes on in the virtual work environment appears to be opposites. Some folks believe that productivity and creativity are opposites, but not in the virtual environment. If you are authentically productive in the virtual environment you are also highly creative and creatively productive. You have to be. In the knowledge economy, “thinking work” is the mainstay. Observation is an obsolete way of determining if workers are really productive.
This new environment and the virtual workers in it are also highly informal but results-oriented. If you can work in your pajamas and get results, that is what is important – results. This requires the company to define exactly what is expected and what success looks like. Yet few companies are currently capable of doing this. Evolving from an era of management by observation, vague goals and less real leadership, many companies are struggling with setting clear expectations. Performance reviews and systems will only be as helpful as they are useful. Informal means being without pretense and formality, not conforming to prescribed regulation and rules, being relaxed and casual. To too many companies, organizations and institutions, it also means less control, a concept that causes fear. Without a clear definition of success, it is difficult to know if you hit the target.
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